Slate provides an unusual and interesting medium for painting on. Its rough texture and dark grey color give it a rustic feeling that make it ideal for landscape paintings, nature scenes, village portraits and other items that convey the country or historical times. Gather used slate from demolition or masonry sites where it was used in roofing or purchase raw new slabs of slate from suppliers of construction materials. Since slate stands up to the elements very well, which is why its used in roofing, it also makes for great garden signs, welcome signs and shop street signs.
Items you will need
- Flat slate slabs
- Oil paints
Clean the slate. Using the soap, water and sponge scrub the slate clean of any dust, dirt or or oil that it may have collected, especially if it is used slate from a demolition or masonry site. Use a sponge that has two sides, a smooth side for cleaning and a rough steel wool side for scrubbing, so you can scrub out deep strains and dirt build-ups. Allow the slate to dry well before continuing.
Paint the slate. Using the paintbrushes and the oil paints, paint on the design, lettering or pattern that you want to render. You'll discover several techniques for painting directly on slate. Because it is such a dark material, many artists first apply a layer of a white, light grey or light cream colored paint to the area they want to work on, then paint on top of that. But for lettering and other signs where you want a blackboard-like appearance, paint directly on the slate.
Seal the slate. Use a latex based all purpose, all weather outdoor sealant to finish the slate painting after it dries. This is especially important with signage and other pieces that are going to be used outside. Drill any signage holes or do any other modifications to the piece of slate before applying the final sealant.
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